Megavalanche Organizers Announce a European Mass-Start Downhill Series

Nov 29, 2018 at 11:40
by Mike Levy  
European Mass Start Series


New for 2019, the UCC's European Mass Start Series is a five-round season that sends racers down huge descents, and because that's not rowdy enough on its own, you do it with a few hundred other nutters. You all start on snow or a glacier, too, because why not, and you're pretty much racing blind.

The standout event in the series is the infamous Alpe d’Huez Megavalanche, a 20km race that starts on the Pic Blanc glacier and provides 2,600m of elevation drop. The other four stops are known as 'Maxiavalanche' events and see competitors tackle a qualifying run on Saturday that determines what group of 100 to 300 racers they roll out with on Sunday.

It's not just a single race run, either, with two timed laps on Sunday that will range from 10 to 15km long and offer 1,000 to 1,500m of descending.
European Mass Start Series

Vallnord - 16 June (Maxiavalanche)
L'Alpe d'Huez - 14 July (Megavalanche)
Cervinia - 28 July (Maxiavalanche)
Meribel - 25 August (Maxiavalanche)
Ax 3 Domaines - 15 September (Maxiavalanche)

If you're not familiar with the insanity of the Megavalanche, check out Ben Deakin's POV below video from this year's race. Heads up with a colorful language warning, though, so turn your sound off if you're offended by a bit of cursing.




If there's a race series, there has to be a champion, and the champion of the European Mass Start Series gets a free ticket to the Megavalanche event on the warm and tropical Reunion Island. Just east of Madagascar, Reunion Island is a French department in the Indian Ocean that just happens to have an active volcano that stands 2,632m tall. Sounds pretty neat for a mass start, long-form downhill race, doesn't it? Just throw a little lava into the mix to keep things interesting.

The overall champ gets a flight, accommodation, and entry fees covered to the Reunion Island Megavalanche, while first and second place losers get €400 and €300 consolation prizes.


Megavalanche
Megavalanche


Because the series takes place in Europe, you know there's also an e-bike category at each round: ''The Marathon Downhill tracks always have some short but tricky uphills where most of the people won’t say no to a little help,'' says the UCC on their website. If you have little ones between the ages of 7 and 14, there are kids races down the easier bits of the adult courses, too. It's worth pointing out that the UCC is a sporting event company that doesn't have anything to do with the UCI, despite their acronyms being pretty similar.

If all of the sounds appealing to you, you can check out the rules of the series right here before signing up.

Who's interested? Maybe bring a spare set or four of brake pads?



MENTIONS: @UCCSportEvent




47 Comments

  • + 44
 This is European as heck
  • + 4
 Indeed. It used to be called DH Marathon. The name says it all
  • + 17
 Max Euro
  • + 13
 THOSE LUCKY EU BASTARDS! This needs to spread.Mega World Series All we have is the Mammoth MegaKami and there were only like 12 ppl in each category.
  • + 17
 Just imagine, if America had mountains, you could have your own Avalanche races!!
  • - 2
 @nozes: ......?
  • + 1
 @nozes: yeah.... pikes peak.... that mole hill
  • + 14
 @nozes: HAHAHA Sarcasm never gets old Wink
  • + 1
 @preach: yeah they should do it at mt.rainier, call it the mega volcano.
  • + 2
 they used to call it DH Marathon for a reason. Just like XC Marathons you blend in among hundreds of Joeys and you don’t need to live up to anything. You can suck and nobody will be able to see it because apart from the front of the pack, everybody sucks. And that makes you think you are on an average level, that this is what the norm is... you are one of the guys... while you are still a... Joey...
  • + 1
 Hahahahaha
  • + 15
 Title sponsor: The European Society of Orthopedic Surgeons
  • + 10
 Username checks out
  • + 5
 This series has been running for many years with a few venue changes. I’ve done one every year for a while now. Only Alpe d’Huez and Cervinia start on snow, the other venues have a ‘dry’ mass start.
Meribel is the only new venue. They have all been great.
  • + 4
 And if you want more snow, mountain of hell is sick too !
  • + 2
 @robguide Exactly, this trophy has been around for many years, apart from a new venue I can't see anything different.
  • + 1
 My fav ones (not in this order but.. you know): Vallnord, Ax 3 Domains (tough as nails) and of course the monster Mega Alp D'Huez.

For those ones on the wrong side of the ocean... Alp D'Huez could be to go to Whistler and run berserk 'Top of the world' all the way down. Tough, fun and when finished you are looking for much more.
  • + 9
 Good timing to open an hospital. Plenty of customers coming soon!
  • + 7
 YAAAS MORE PILEUP VIDEOS! What an excellent terrible idea. Course design for that kind of event must be nuts, too. I predict massive success and lots of injuries.
  • + 1
 Inshallah
  • + 8
 Oh god...mass start carnage on dirt. Get ready to be the subject of a high speed human cheese grader.
  • + 8
 Now this is progression of the sport!
  • + 8
 Awesome! There can never be enough mass start mountain bike races.
  • + 4
 #megaworldseries
  • + 8
 If Mike does the series without falling I will buy him a dozen donuts.
  • + 29
 Without falling once throughout the entire series? I can barely ride to the grocery store without eating shit...
  • + 4
 @mikelevy: All right...a dozen donuts per race unsullied.
  • + 4
 Oh come on.. The MaxiAvalanche series has been around for decades. Have we all forgotten this is how the foundations of the current enduro movement were laid 20 years ago?
I must be getting old.
  • + 4
 Can I use those performance enhancing things for this? Oops I just ate one...
  • + 3
 You may get a positive test result and you wouldn't be the first after a Mega
  • + 1
 Thought you were talking about ebikes in the beginning lol
  • + 5
 Endless 4X overtakes on a freeride bike, this looks rad.
  • + 4
 Can we get an Irish round and include redbull Foxhunt
  • + 2
 Redbull foxhunt has a WAY better course for mass start. Lots of lines and places to pass on the downhill sections lower down. Most MEGAs seem to only allow passing on the double track or climbing sections once you're past a certain point. It's kind of frustrating to watch.
  • + 2
 @jayacheess: it's even more frustrating to ride sometimes!
  • + 2
 Woohoo to Hell in 16 seconds? Sign me up. My driveway is not long enough...and I still eat shit on it.
  • + 3
 Life goals - make it to one of these
  • + 9
 More like - make it out alive from one of these
  • + 3
 That looks Mega
  • + 3
 I expect it to be massively successful.
  • + 2
 Better start going to mass if you want to come out alive.
  • + 1
 That must be stupidly exhausting for arms and fingers.
  • + 1
 Ax 3 Domains is tough as f*ck... look on youtube for Ax 3 domains maxiavalanche and judge yourself. Last year when made it... wanted to do another time and pump arm was simply brutal.
  • + 1
 Yooooo Meribel fk yeah that's a homie track err wait was it Maribor maybe
  • + 1
 Let’s call it DHGP.
  • + 0
 Bring out your dead!

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